Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why runners shouldn't have such big egos

Photo by Russ Keberly of Keberly Photography

     I just want to start off this post by saying that I give myself full permission to post this blog that openly makes fun of runners. My reason being the fact that I am a devoted runner and have experienced many times when I questioned my reasons for continuing my way of life as a runner. Simply put, running is absolutely the least glamorous part of my life. Do I get a lot out of it and take pride in what I do? Yes. Do I ever feel hot or sexy when I’m doing it? Absolutely not.  My reason for writing this is based on observations I’ve made in my past eight years or so of being apart of cross country, track and just a running community in general. In a very generalized statement: runners tend to have big egos. Why? I guess that we tend to feel like we work harder than the average athlete, possibly average person.  Maybe we just feel like we’re lucky cause we get to eat more than the average person (or maybe that’s just me). The point is, running is 1% (or less) the stunning, heroic, picture of a world class athlete breaking the record in the 5,000 meters. The rest of running is actually rather disgusting. But let me elaborate on why we shouldn’t be so obsessed with ourselves.

Most people don’t really like us. It’s true. I mean, there are people who respect what we do as athletes, but for the most part people are just annoyed with us. There are several reasons for this. The first one is that we almost always are running around “half-naked”, as most human beings describe it. Now I can truthfully say that from my perspective, the choice to run in only a sports bra and spandex is all based on comfort. An 80 degree day can instantly feel like 100 degrees when you’re running, and in cases where you’re sweating profusely and moving around a lot, the less clothing the better. I personally have had my fair share of not only my non-running friends nagging me for never wearing lots of clothing, but those kind souls that speed past me in their SUV’s and yell obnoxiously are not to be left out of the equation. If I had a nickel for all the times I have been on a run and someone has yelled at me for not wearing clothing, I would probably have about 5,239 nickels, give or take. Aside from that, some runners think that the people who don’t run, look up to them like gods. False. Its possible that people respect someone who can run more than 5 minutes without passing out, but in all honesty, people watch soccer more than they watch track and field.  No one had ever said, “Hey guys! Wanna come over, have a beer and watch the track meet?”. No. Never. Cross country doesn’t even go into the mix because I’ve been asked to many times by different people what cross country really even is. So ,more or less, runners have a chip on their shoulder because no one came to watch our cross country meet that was five hours away from home. It’s a sad story for sure, but I don’t blame them.

We are a disgusting mess.  Sure running keeps you in shape and makes you look good in a dress and whatever. I’ve always credited my extremely tan shoulders to the long runs during the summer time (to that I also credit my huge white blotch between my belly button and mid-thigh… it’s the running tan curse). Anyway, the point is we’ve been known to be pretty gross, and in many ways, unattractive. For starters, we are constantly sweating for at least 30 minutes after we finish a workout or run, we get gross calluses and bruises and deformities on our feet, we get weird and awkward chaffing on our inner thighs and arms, and to top it all off, runners have been known to shit their pants. I hate to be so blunt and TMI, but you would be surprised about the amount of people who I know and know of who have experienced it. I mean, I for one, feel sorry for them because I can’t imagine the humiliation felt when you’re running in a race and you literally lose control of all bodily functions in the worst possible way.  People have heard about it happening to athletes during a triathlon. At which point in the tri did that horrid experience occur? The running part.  Point made.

We aren’t cute when we’re running. It’s like those silly memes on Facebook, tumblr, reddit, what have you. There’s a way that some runners think they look when they’re racing and such, and then there’s the way they really look. 99% of the time, the fantasy of looking like the goddess, Atalanta, while you running is exactly what I just said: a fantasy. Take me for example: whenever I run, I have this look on my face of sheer terror. People have tried to tell me that I look determined and strong, but with the combination of my cheeks flopping around, my eyebrows becoming harsh and severe looking, and my face fleshing into a ruby red hue, I think I look like any evil queen/ stepmother from any Disney movie. Just pick one.
Photo by Chris Tuck
 Aside from a common runner like myself not being as appealing to the eye, even running royalty can look, gross as they’re strenuously finishing a 5k on the track. Take Kara Goucher or Shalane Flanagan. I’ve seen edited down pictures of them looking god-like at the end of a marathon, but since subscribing to them on Facebook, I’ve also seen the poorly lit, skeletal looking photographs of them. Runners may be a great example of what the human body can do, but lord can it take a toll on your features: droopy boobs, boney chests, oversize quads that look disproportionate to the rest of you body, and so much more!

I truly hope that my fellow runners that just read that entire blog aren’t offended …because for God’s sake it’s just a joke. One of the best parts about being apart of something like running is being able to have a sense of humor about it and find something to laugh about. To me, that’s important because running has really messed with me mentally in the past. In the wise words of my high school coach, Coach Guynn, its important in running to just keep it simple. In my eyes, what makes something simple is being able to make fun of it. So consider my statements and remember that you’ve probably thought about it once or twice in your life. Running can be sexy ….. if you’re in a photo shopped picture on the front of Runner’s World and your name is Lolo Jones.


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